Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Soldier Ride

On a lonely stretch of highway 371, my drive through Anza CA., was disrupted to a slow crawl. Up ahead I could see a few patrol car with flashing lights. "Uh oh, I though, it's a major wreck, maybe a fatality, and in this area diverting traffic can mean a 50 mile detour. But when the U Haul trucks pulled of the road, so did the patrol cars and as traffic flowed past I realized something special was going on. I snapped a pic with my cell phone to commerate the event.

Soldier Ride is "a cross-country cycling event to aid in the rehabilitation of the brave men and women who return home with injuries incurred in the current military conflicts abroad. Participation in our cycling events provides these wounded warriors a foundation for the development of a positive self-image and outlook on life, which speeds the rehabilitation and recovery process."

Cpl. Kevin Blanchard is a 23 year old retired Marine who lost his left leg and suffered severe wounds to his right leg in an IED explosion while serving in Iraq. Recently retired from the military, Kevin resides in Arlington, Virginia and will be pursuing a business degree at George Cpl. Kevin Blanchard Washington University this fall. Kevin joined us on the ride from Little Rock to Branson, his second cycling trip with Soldier Ride. "I am very impressed with Kevin's progress," said Steve Nardizzi, Executive Director of Soldier Ride. When Kevin first joined Soldier Ride for a cycling clinic in Florida this winter, his right leg wasn't strong enough for him to use a traditional bicycle. He used a handcycle, a three wheeled bicycle that you pedal with your hands. "It's a testament to Kevin's courage and determination that he was able to transition so quickly to using a traditional bicycle," Nardizzi said. "He was even able to tackle the tough hills through the Ozarks." Kevin attributes his recovery to the excellent medical care he received at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and his participation in rehabilitative events like Soldier Ride. When asked about participating in Soldier Ride again, Kevin replied "I'm hooked ... I'll be doing it as long as you guys do it."

You can support Soldier Ride at the Soldier Ride website and see video of the ride. My hat's off to these guys, I feel lucky to have witnessed Soldier Ride.


Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

Nice Kev..I will link up to this !..:)

August 01, 2006  
Blogger kevin said...

I saw the trackback , thanks. Pretty inspirational eh?

August 01, 2006  
Blogger Brooke said...

Awesome cause!

August 02, 2006  

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